5 Trends to Look Out for in Home Tech
The connectivity and intelligence of devices are completely changing the potential of what can be achieved with home tech. We are continually gaining more control over our devices from an app interface which is available to us, wherever we are and whatever the time is. Consequently, we are living in more secure homes, saving ourselves money and getting more intelligent features that are constantly improving. This article will explore some popular and powerful home tech trends that you should know about.
Internet of Things (IOT)
The IOT is a general term that will cover some of the other devices we discuss on this page. This technological principal is driving us towards automation and devices with much richer features. For a long time the only devices that could connect to the internet, especially in the case of the consumer market, were computers, laptops, and more recently smartphones. Now practically anything and everything is getting connected. Light bulbs, thermostats and even cooking equipment, and this are just scraping a few examples compared to everything that is out there. These devices all have the hardware, software and sensors embedded to make them smart devices. Hence, any ”thing” is starting to be connectable to the internet. In 2020 there will be an estimated 30 billion of these devices, making it one of the most significant trends of our time. This technology is driving the smart home concept as data gathered in one device is critical to directing the chain of automation.
A video doorbell is one of the best smart security devices that has been created to date. They are so effective that Amazon decided to buy the pioneer of the industry and leading firm of the market, Ring, for over $1 billion. The concept is simple; put a video camera on your doorbell that connects via Wi-Fi to your smartphone app and accesses it 24/7 from anywhere in the world. The facts show that most burglaries happen during the day when families are out at work. The most common tactic is to ring the doorbell to see if anyone answers so they know exactly whether it is an opportunistic moment for them. With a video doorbell you can answer the door and talk to whoever is there and the camera will record suspicious activity when triggered.
Wire free smart home security cameras are one of the most popular product categories of smart home tech. Smart home security accounts for over half of smart device sales, making it the most popular application of intelligent home devices. At the top of the market is Arlo, one of the best known smart home security camera brands. What is special about these devices is their ability to last for months on end without needing a charge and recording only real threats. When a motion or in some cases audio is detected, they will record snippets of video, typically around five seconds in length. This footage is stored on the cloud for at least a week or sometimes longer, which is included for free with the cameras although there are some paid plans available too. This article; Arlo vs Arlo Pro vs Arlo Pro 2, explains everything you need to know about Arlos top devices.
Home theatre PC’s (HTPCs) are a great option for households who are frustrated with the limitations of devices such as chromecast, Apple TV and other streaming devices that only allow media playback within their platform. HTPCs are small volume PCs that you can connect to your PC, primarily for media purposes, that possess a large hard drive allowing for storage of any forms of media – movies, TV shows, games, and so on. The rise of small form factor PC cases (SFFPC) has increased the customizability of how you would want your HTPC to look, with plenty of PC case options to choose from, with HardwarePick giving a useful tool to compare PC cases suitable for HTPC builds.
Robot vacuums have been around for some time, but it is only recently that they have become intelligent devices. Models such as the Roomba 960 or 980 have Wi-Fi connectivity and access to an app that provides the principal user interface. These two robot vacuums use advanced smart mapping & VSLAM technology that uses a camera to map your home and take the most efficient cleaning routes. They get the job done quickly and if they run low on battery they self-autonomously return to base and restart cleaning once they have enough battery to get the job done. Sensors can also detect areas of dirt which need extra attention. iRobot CEO and founder, Colin Angle, truly believes that Roomba will be the center of the smart home due to its mapping technology that can feed information into the system. This does raise security concerns due to the sensitive nature of information gathered about your home.